Road Rage: Teaching Your Teen to Drive Calmly
We’ve all done it. Nearly every driver has, at one point, shouted at another vehicle, questioned their sanity, shaken their fist or even have gone so far to treat them to an obscene hand gesture or two. While driving can have its frustrations and it may feel like you’re just blowing off steam, road rage can actually be a killer behind the wheel. It is currently estimated that 6.8 million crashes occur in the United States due to driver rage, making it a very real problem on the roads.Road Range & Teen Drivers
As a parent, you’re likely already teaching your teenage driver all about not driving drunk, obeying the rules of the road and not speeding. However, with articles like “Road Rage Leads To Teen Driver Death by Police” on the blog of one car accident lawyer New York based, you need to add discussing road rage to the mix. How can you teach your child not to engage in the rage?
1) Set a good example.
If your child has seen you getting worked up behind the wheel, then they will likely think this is normal behavior. Despite what they say, kids do imitate their parents, particularly in new life events where they may be unsure of what to do. Though it may be difficult, take a deep breath or two before reacting to that slow driver in front of you.
2) Explain why it’s not funny.
Your child has likely seen hundreds of movies and television shows that add a comedic value to people flipping out while they’re driving. It’s important that they know that rage acts as a distraction, and thus can be as dangerous as taking your eyes off the road or driving intoxicated. Underline to them the importance of not showing off for their friends or aping funny moments.
3) Teach calming techniques.
Learning how to calm down can be a great life skill, and one that you both can benefit from. Take a class together to learn breathing exercises, or even do something as simple as watching an educational video about relaxation online. Further, make a pact together and agree that you’ll both work on taking deep breaths or counting to ten before reacting to something that makes you angry on the road.
4) Get out of the way.
It’s not just your own anger that can be dangerous. Other drivers experiencing road rage can also put you and your passengers at risk of an accident. Make sure your teenager knows that if they witness someone driving erratic or aggressively, that they should try to get away from them immediately.
Additionally, they may want to get a license plate number and report the offender to the police if the situation is bad. If you find yourself the victim of a road rage-based accident, be sure to have the police involved as angry people can often be violent or unpredictable.Getting rid of the rage to set a good example for your child is a good step to teaching them great habits behind the wheel. Be honest with your children about the dangers and let them know it’s always better to wait before reacting. Knee-jerk reactions never get anyone anywhere, particularly if they want to arrive alive.
Writer Melanie Fleury cannot claim that she always sets the best example when it comes to road rage. Reading the article on the website of a car accident lawyer New York based reminded her that road rage not only puts you in danger, it is also hazardous to other people on the road.